In 2012, Franz Walkup was ambushed while serving in Afghanistan and sustained 5 gunshots. It wasn’t likely he’d survive, and if he did they said he’d never walk again – but he defied all odds.
In 2014, Franz stood up on his own for the first time since the incident. He proceeded to take a few steps on his own – something his doctors had told him wouldn’t be possible.
After hearing about his inspiring story and recovery, Ellen from The Ellen Show invited Walkup and his wife to the show.
In 2007, Franz got the news that his brother had been killed while serving in Iraq. According to the Gary Sinise Foundation, he was lost and unsure what to do with his life, but he knew he wanted to honor his brother in some way.
He decided to enlist for himself and was deployed to Wardak Province, Afghanistan where he was ambushed. Thankfully, he pulled through and was able to tell his story and inspire others to keep pushing forward.
While speaking with Ellen on her show, the Walkups revealed that they were hoping to build a wheelchair-accessible home so Franz could get around easier. While he could stand and take a few steps, he still relied heavily on a wheelchair to get around, and having an accessible house was crucial for them.
That’s when Ellen surprised the couple with a life-changing gift of $15,000 – a sum that would help them get the house they needed!
What’s even sweeter is when they were standing up to thank her, Franz pulled a military pin off of his blazer, a sign of honor, and gifted it to Ellen.
Watch the moment in the video below:Whizzco